The Tea Act of 1773 was passed by the Parliament to rescue the East India Company. However, I read somewhere that it would have actually made tea cheaper everywhere in the Empire1. By this argument, the Tea Act of 1773 was actually beneficial for the colonies.
- What were the actual impacts of the Tea Act on the price of tea in the colonies?
- What did the colonies perceive as the impact of the Tea Act?
- If there is a gap between actual impact and perceived impact, why?
The quote is from lecture from a series on History of the United States, and is as follows:
What blew the lid off this uneasy peace was the Tea Act of 1773. Which is odd, because the Tea Act not only did not involve any new taxes, but actually offered Americans a luxury item at bargain prices. The Tea Act in fact didn't even begin in the America, it originated halfway around the world, in India [...]. But Americans, far from being grateful at visions of a cheap cup of tea, Americans were only prepared to put the most sinister of constructions on the Tea Act. Lowering the price of tea, they thought, was a trick, to induce Americans to buy at a bargain and thus lure them into paying that one remaining [inaudible - mostly Townshend] tax -- the tax on tea. And when they did that, that would legitimize Parliament's claim to taxing rights in America.